Sunday, November 29, 2009

Doggie Gear

Bentley and I went for another run today. I remembered to get everything together before we left the house today. Usually we get to the end of the driveway and have to turn back because I left the "doggie bags" in the house. Today I had everything together, and remembered to dress Bentley in his new gear.

Bentley's gear came to us from the Bud Light, Tailgate Approved website. The what website? That's right, Bud Light. Now I'm not a beer drinker. Celiacs can't drink normal beer and I've never liked the stuff anyway. Tequila is more my speed, but I digress. Anyway, after laughing at another ridiculous Bud Light commercial, my husband checked out the website. He found the tailgate companion and couldn't resist.

We haven't had a chance to tailgate with our dog, but I do find it useful on a run. It doesn't keep him warm, but it does provide a place for me to keep his "doggie bags" after he has done his "business." My policy, if you do it, you carry it :)

The run went well. I didn't put too much effort into it, but I made it. I tried zig zagging through the neighborhood and ended up going up another one of the big hills here. Now, northern Illinois isn't know for steep hills, but for some reason, my neighborhood has a ton. All in all, I'm glad I ran and hopefully I can run again before it snows on Wednesday :(

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Amazing Day!

Coming off a horrible 24 hours, I didn't have high hopes for today. But I was pleasantly surprised that everything worked out as well as it did.

I volunteered to host Thanksgiving this year because my mom said she wasn't doing it if my dad wasn't home. So I battled the Tuesday night grocery store crowd and then had a massive anxiety attack on Wednesday afternoon putting all the stuff together. What the hell did I get myself into? I don't know how to cook a turkey!!! Luckily my mother, sister, and her boyfriend were here to assist in the house cleaning and preparation...even though I fought the urge to strangle them.

I started my Thanksgiving morning at 7:30 AM. Preheated the oven, pulled the turkey out of the fridge, and did the last minute oil rubbing, etc. After putting it in the oven, my sister motivated me to go for a run. (See side note about my sister below) She was nice enough to do workout 3.2 of my program with me. I left my iPod on speaker so we could both hear the run/walk cues. Bentley was not too thrilled to be running with both of us because it was cold and windy, but he made it through. If she hadn't gone with me today, I would have wimped out toward the end. My lazy ass had to run for 3 minutes straight during this workout! The last 3 minute session was up a hill! a hill...the side of an Illinois mountain! It wasn't really that bad, but my legs barely made it. Bentley was able to walk next to me the whole way up because I was not moving very fast. Anyway, another workout down, and another day closer to being able to run for 3.1 miles!

The turkey and all the sides finished right on schedule, probably due to the fact that my mom did most of the work. She basically cooked her Thanksgiving dinner in my kitchen. :) Oooh! Best part! She even did all of the dishes!! I love my mother! My grandparents were pleased with dinner and everyone was out of my house by 4:00. The husband and I are now able to relax and nap after hosting our first ever holiday meal.

I hope everyone else's Thanksgiving was just as wonderful as mine! Best wishes to everyone who ran their "Turkey Trots" this morning!

**Side Note**
Ok, my sister. First off, she used to be my pudgy little sister. We're 13 months apart and I'm the oldest. Growing up, she was always bigger than me. I was more active in sports and she was more of the music lessons type. Somehow, while I was away at college my first year, my sister decided that she was done being pudgy. Just like that! The next time I saw her, she could run 2 miles and had lost about 20 pounds! This is about the point where my self-esteem took a trip down the toilet and has yet to recover. She was able to make friends with all the "healthy" people in college who ran and ate well. Last summer, she ran her first half-marathon. Now she is planning on training for the Illinois Marathon in April. She is amazing! Whatever she decides she's going to do, she does. Motivation has never been an issue with her. Needless to say, I'm jealous as hell! However, she is a major part of my motivation. I want to be able to run the Rock-N-Roll Chicago Half with her next summer. Yes, I have sister issues, but I love her.

Monday, November 23, 2009

High point...

I was super motivated when I came home from work today. That probably had something to do with a funny incident that happened to my sub at school today while I was in a meeting...but I'll post about that after the run update.

Bentley and I did workout 2.3 from the program. He is getting so much better at listening to me! Except he decided he needed an extra potty break half way through the run and I had to carry poo with me the rest of the way...yuck! Anyway, I had been doing some reading on my shin pain and found some info on improving your form to ease the pain. As I ran, I focused on how my body was moving and discovered that I was leaning waaaay forward! I pulled myself back, tucked in my abs, and straightened my back and instantly I felt some relief. Wow! I focused on keeping myself in that form for the rest of the workout and things felt so much better. I'm going to try the posture again on my next run and see if it makes anymore of a difference. I'm also thinking about visiting the local running store this weekend to investigate new shoes (and a possible "Black Friday" sale, because I'm a cheapskate and that's all that's keeping me from just freakin' buying them already! Gosh!). The loop we run/walk around the neighborhood is 2.17 miles. I probably run about half of that, so it's not bad. I can really feel my endurance kicking in because my lungs aren't screaming for air anymore.

Ok...what happened to my sub. I had to laugh when he told me this today. Keep in mind that these are 5th graders. I had put into my plans for him to show two videos because I wasn't sure of his sub quality (I'll post my theories on this at a later date) and didn't want to give him too much to actually teach. He said that about half way through an ancient Social Studies video about Native Americans the tracking was starting to go and fuzzy lines were forming on the screen. Before he could do anything else, the VCR just shut off and went back to TV mode. This wouldn't have been a problem except that the volume was at a level 50 and the image that was on the screen was a clip from last night's AMA's of some half-naked woman gyrating on stage with her dancers. He said the majority of my class was just in shock and didn't say anything....except for Mr. Inappropriate who just had to pipe up and say "Man! She's HOT!" This of course sent the class into hysterics. It was rather difficult to refocus on Math after that. HA! Now I purposely have the TV and VCR channel set to the Weather Channel to avoid any incident like that...but somehow the channel must have been changed. Oh well.

Now I'm at home, relaxing before cooking dinner and grading papers. Unfortunately, my kitten has gone into heat again and is just plain creeping me out! Yuck! Luckily, I called the vet and she can still have her spay/declaw surgery tomorrow morning. Only 15 more hours of the creepy sex-kitten! Yay! Wish us luck.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

One more time...

I did it again! I went running! Workout 2.2 complete.

Again, I brought Bently and he was great! The retractable leash was the key. He even responded to the "let's run" and "slow down" commands. Yay! I might have my running buddy back.

Ok....the run. It was another run for 1:30 then walk for 3:00. My shins are still killing me. About 25 minutes in to my 30 minute run, they finally went numb and I felt like I could have kept running. Next week I will run for a longer periods and hopefully my shins will numb up sooner!

I'm struggling with wanting to buy hundreds of dollars worth of running gear. I feel that if I want to take running seriously I need to buy new shoes, new tights, and warm weather gear. Well...I did go to Target and by some Compression shirts and a pair of running gloves. I felt like if, for some reason, I didn't follow through with my running plans, I wouldn't feel so bad because they weren't that expensive. I did stop myself from buying the cold-run tights and a new fleece because I still have a pair of tights from high school track and a fleece outfit from Old Navy when they came out with their "Polar Fleece" a couple of years ago (once again, I was in high school). Amazing it all still fits! I did ask for these things for Christmas though :) Maybe I will make it through the winter after all. Any advice on what else I should buy? I live in Northern Illinois, so it gets really cold in December and lasts through March.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Well, I did it. I came home from school and ran today. I even decided to give Bentley another try. I figured if it wasn't working out, I'd just swing back by the house and leave him in the living room. But, he was surprisingly good! I guess that means we're just running the neighborhood from now on.

I did workout 2.1 of the program. I ended up purchasing the app for my iPod because it was too much to run, hold a dog leash, and check a watch at the same time. I love that there was this little voice telling me when to run and when to walk. It was great! Best $3 I've spent in the last week.

The running part of the workout went well. I was surprised with how smooth I was. The only thing that is still bothering me is my shins. I really do need to break down and get a new pair of shoes. I could really feel how much the padding is worn down and how my ankles roll out. I also need a gait analysis. There is only one running store around here that I know of that does that and when I went there last summer, they only had about 3 pairs of shoes in my size. Now, I'm a size 6. Is that an unusual size? When the sales person asked me what size I would need, he hesitated and told me they don't usually carry that size. I was rather annoyed and vowed to only buy my shoes from a sporting-goods store from then on, but I probably should go back. I'll make them order me a darn pair of shoes if I have to! Seriously, is a size 6 that unusual for a runner?

I'm thinking of doing workout 2.2 tomorrow so that I can catch back up on the program. I also want to do some Christmas shopping before I end up broke and out of time...hmmm...we'll see where this goes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Since the running disaster with Bentley on Monday, I haven't felt much like running. Every little excuse seems to be a good reason not to run.

Tuesday: headache
Wednesday: 1 hr break between school and masters class=not enough time to run
Thursday: had to get ready for open house at school
Friday: who knows, I'm planing on it, but who knows...

I'm having a huge power struggle with my dog and it really bothers me. I try to remember how my parents trained our dog when I was growing up...and I think I'm doing an alright job following their plan. Then I watch the Dog Whisperer and it seems like I'm a total failure at keeping my dog "balanced." Every time I try his methods of management, I end up so frustrated that Bentley won't walk next to me or even look at me.

All of this is draggin up anxieties about having children. I'm not pregnant yet, but we plan on it sometime in the next two years. I'm trying to hold off as long as possible. If I can't discipline a dog, how the hell am I going to discipline a child? I'm the only one of us who is home enough to work with him and he still won't listen to me. Is this a sign that I'm going to be a terrible mother? As terrified as I am about being pregnant, I'm even more terrified about being a parent. :(

Monday, November 16, 2009

In need

Bentley has temporarily lost his position as my running partner. Today's attempt at a run was a disaster! We normally run around our neighborhood and he's just fine. He'll run in front of me a bit, but he doesn't pull my arm off. Today, to shake things up, I decided we would go for a run at the park before going in to the dog park we're members of. Now, I don't know why I thought today would be any different than our other trips to the dog park, but we went for it any way. He started pulling as soon as he jumped from the car. We took the long loop that would pass us by the park area in the middle. He was doing alright until we got to the entrance of the park. That was when he lunged for the dog at the fence and I almost lost my arm. I managed to pull him back to the path and keep going. Around the corner we encountered another dog at the fence and he pulled so hard that I heard my shoulder pop and I almost went down. I yanked him back to the path, made him sit, and then continued with a walk to calm him down. He wasn't having any of that either! Pull, Pull, Pull!!!

I was on the verge of tears because he's never like this!

Long story short, I didn't end up completing week 2, workout 1 today. Maybe tomorrow....

He has been just fine until these past couple weeks. I need advice on puppy training that won't cost me $200 and another night away from home.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I ran

Inspired by Lisa, I talked myself into doing a morning run this morning before my seminar. And...I got up and did it! This not only amazed me, it confused my husband who didn't know where I had gone when he woke up.

The alarm went off at 6:20 and I was surprisingly awake! I usually get up at 5:45 to get ready for work, so that may account for my alertness. Bentley was excited and danced around the room while I dressed. As I was putting on my new running socks I discovered that he had chewed a hole in one of them! Grrr! But eventually I put myself together and off we went. Luckily the sun still comes up around 6:00 and it wasn't too dark outside. I still need to get some reflective gear.

Because this is Week 1 of the Couch to 5K Program, I alternated running 1 minute and walking 1 minute. Bentley doesn't like this because he just wants to keep going. We're working on commands like "heel" and "slow down" so I don't have to keep choking him when I slow to walk.

Everything went pretty well. I'm still experiencing pain in my shins when I run. This may be a combination of foot problems and old shoes. Who knows. Hopefully it goes away.

So proud of myself!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Today was supposed to be week 1, workout 3 of the Couch to 5K plan. When I got home from work today, I discovered that my husband had finished insulating half of the garage and was also washing a load of laundry. I was so overcome with amazement that I forgot I was supposed to go running. We set a date night and had a really nice time together. It's nice to have him back on Friday nights now that football season is over. Too bad that wrestling season has started and I will be losing him again to late practices, frequent meets, and overnight tournaments. :( At least I'll be able to stretch out in bed :)

High point of my day: Husband brought me lunch at school. My students were amazed by the difference in our heights. He's about 6'4" and I'm only 5'2ish on a tall day. Some of my students remembered him from two years ago when he brought me lunch then. I'll post about school another day.

Low point of my day: House smells suspiciously like cat pee when we get home. After letting Bentley outside, I walk into the laundry room to discover Doozer peeing on the carpet in front of her box! The little shit! At least she was peeing in the laundry room and not somewhere else. Only 1 week and 4 days to her declaw/spay operation. Hopefully she calms way down after that.

Hoping to take another run tomorrow after my seminar. I realize I actually need to post about running since that is why I started this blog in the first place :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My babies...

Ok...time to post about something positive. My babies!!

Now, I'm not the mother of a human child yet. But I am the proud pet mommy of two wonderful animals, a weimaraner-lab mix puppy and a little black kitten. My puppy is about 8-months old and his name is Bentley. Doozer is the name of my kitten and we're not sure about her age. She was given to us by a friend because her parents had abandoned her under their front porch. They told us she was only 2-3 weeks old, but the vet told us she was about 2 months. I'm not sure who to believe. According to the vet, she'd be about 6-7 months old now.

They are really great friends...sometimes. They'll cuddle together when they're napping. But most of the time they chase each other around the house and chew on eachother's ears. I'm so thankful for both of them. They keep me company when my husband is gone to football games and wrestling meets.

Bentley is also my training partner. We're doing the Couch to 5K program together. He has so much energy that a mile walk and an hour at the dog park doesn't get it all out of him! So far, he loves running and forces me to keep up. Too bad it's getting colder outside and he won't be able to run with me for too much longer.

Does anyone have any advice on running with your dog in cold weather? It's probably not a good idea seeing as he's still a puppy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My life as a celiac

In September of 2008 I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I didn't think the gluten-free diet would be too bad...until I met with a nutritionist. She gave me the doom & gloom version of my diagnosis, which had me in tears when I left her office. According to her I needed to throw away everything in my kitchen, go to a specialty food store, and be prepared for osteoporosis, mental illness, and miscarriages. I can't even begin to describe how sad this made me.

After I came to terms with everything, I began to embrace my new diet. I didn't throw everything away, I just added to my food collection and had my husband eat what I couldn't. I found that gluten-free products didn't taste too bad. I also liked that eating gluten-free gave me the push I'd been needing to buy organic food.

I was doing well...until my husband ordered pizza....I couldn't help myself. I hadn't been that sick in a long time.

Since then (about 10 months) I have been as gluten free as possible. I'm still adjusting. There are days when I hate eating and think my life is horrible. But then there are the days when I'm walking through the regular grocery isles and pick up a random product and see my two favorite words, "gluten free" on the label. Those days give me hope. And there are more of the positive days than the negative ones.

I must sound like a complete whiner! I promise I'm not down in the dumps all the time!

Let's hope for a more positive outlook from now on!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let's try this again...

Once again I am entering the world of blogging. I have always liked the idea of keeping a journal or diary, but I haven't been good about keeping it for long. There must be 10 various lock-and-key varieties in a shoebox in my parents' basement that are half-filled with scribbles about my friends, they boys I "loved," or rants about bad days. About 5 years ago, my friends turned me on to blogging because it would be a way to keep in touch while we were away at college. They turned it into a catalog of drunken pictures and outrageous party stories that I just couldn't live up to.

Now, I'm at it again. Not for my friends, but for myself. I'm at a stressful point in my life and have been doing some reading about how keeping a journal helps some people with their stress. This, I am hoping, will help me deal with things better.

I have chosen the title "Motivating Me" because I am starting an adventure into the world of running and weight-loss. There is a Half-Marathon that my husband and his sisters are running next summer that I would like to participate in. Through this blog I am going to keep track of my training and weight-loss goals as I work through a variety of programs designed to get my ass off the couch and out into the world. I will need all the motivation I can get because I'm not the best at motivating myself (hence the shoebox of half-filled diaries). Any words of encouragement or advice that you could offer would be appreciated.

Well...Off I go...